Clients need their accountants more than ever in our post-COVID-19 world. Whether it’s getting ready for the extended tax deadline, figuring out how to utilize government relief funds or how to start a new business in a recession, accountants need to make sure their services are in the foreground of their customers’ needs.
Here are five post-COVID marketing strategies for accountants to win and keep clients for the long-term.
Establish the Business as Post COVID-19 Experts
As the economy struggles to get back on track and clients have specific questions on how to file taxes, apply for relief funding and provide documentation for loan forgiveness, accountants need to secure their clients’ trust by providing quick answers. Accountants should be familiar with all aspects of the issues their clients will face and then use focused post COVID marketing strategies to position themselves as the experts, such as:
- Create a list of FAQs regarding coronavirus and accounting related issues, then post it on your websites and social media platforms and include it in your email marketing newsletters.
- Send personalized email reminders related to government-postponed filing deadlines and business compliance concerns.
- Offer to byline blog posts for other websites offering advice for post-COVID-19 issues and always link back to the business’ website and social media platforms.
By positioning the accounting business as experts, current customers will remain loyal and new customers will be attracted to come on board.
Pivot to a New Way of Doing Business
Most businesses in the pandemic were required to pivot their focus to stay afloat while consumers and businesses alike sheltered in place and scaled down operations. Accounting businesses with large staffs were also required to ask employees to work remotely to ensure safety. One thing that may not change as safer-at-home policies are lifted is the business/client comfort level with virtual consultations. People who hadn’t participated in online meetings before, quickly became familiar and comfortable with the technology and may want to continue to meet virtually—at least for a while.
Virtual capabilities are appealing for clients still feeling nervous about in-person meetings, which may last well into 2021. Accountants marketing their virtual services to new and old clients will likely do well and show they are making accommodations for all their clients’ needs.
Pivot to a New Clientele
Now is a good time to assess your clientele and determine if your accounting firm would be more successful focusing on working with a new type of client or clients in specific industries, such as restaurant owners or the gig entrepreneurs. To figure out whether the business should pivot to a new focus, ask the following questions:
- Are some customer relationships more lucrative than others?
- Do you already have a cluster of clients from a particular industry and will they refer their colleagues?
- Did your business acquire clients out of your immediate geographic area? Perhaps you can focus on attracting more out-of-town clients and transform into a virtual accounting business.
Keep in mind, the more focused the clientele, the more focused your marketing strategy needs to be to cover key points important to the industry of your clients.
Strategize and Bootstrap
As business starts ramping up again it’s important to develop an effective and cost-smart marketing strategy. Fortunately, there are many free or low-cost ways to get the message out about your accounting services.
- Social Media – Social media’s contribution to brand awareness cannot be discounted. Besides the business’s own Facebook or LinkedIn pages, accountants could stand out by answering questions on other people’s social pages. You should also look into joining group social media pages with like-minded businesses to make connections and find new sources of clients.
- Community Involvement – People like to do business with companies that give back to their communities. Although volunteering in person may not be possible for a while, accountants can still offer their services for free or at a discounted fee to customers or organizations in need.
- Referral Program – Offering clients a reward or discount for referrals is a great way to increase your clientele without having to spend a lot of money. Also, it’s important to ask satisfied clients to give your business a positive review on referral websites like Yelp. Finally, consider joining a business referral group, also called a business referral network or lead club. Basically, these groups are networking organizations with an emphasis on giving and getting referrals.
Be the Solution
Customers in the wake of the pandemic crisis are looking for reassurance and stability. Yes, everyone wants to get back to business, but what the new normal will look like is anyone’s guess. That’s why it’s important for accounting business owners to be a consistent presence in the lives of their clients.
Think of all the ways customers currently communicate with their accountants and then think of new innovative ways. In addition to phone calls and email, the “always-online” world is communicating through chatbots, chat boxes, Facebook messages, Twitter direct messages, Zoom meetings and Google Hangouts (just to name a few). When customers have problems, they want solutions and they want them fast. Be the solution.
Become a One-Stop Shop
Accountants who want to grow their practices should consider broadening their service offerings. Many of your current and potential clients are looking for more than just accounting advice.
For example, you can target people who may be considering starting a business—or growing their current companies. You can help them do that by adding corporate compliance services, such as incorporation guidance, trademark research, and documentation filings—services that can make your accounting practice a one-stop partner.
To make adding incorporation services seamless and cost effective, accountants can sign up with the CorpNet Partner program. CorpNet acts as a “silent partner” and takes care of clients’ compliance issues, so your business can focus on other important tasks.
As I just said, here at CorpNet we want to be your solution. We understand how stressful and challenging it is for so many small business owners today. We are here to help so you don’t get overwhelmed. Call our business consultants at 888.449.2638 for help with starting a business, obtaining business licenses, or staying in compliance.